Fifth Harmony – ‘Sledgehammer’
Fifth Harmony’s latest track is a stonking pop song. Like the song’s title, big heavy beats and bass pump throughout, as the girls’ harmonies glide effortless over the punching production. The song’s lyrics of the excitement of new love are both endearing and sickly sweet, but that’s not a problem – when it sounds this good nothing is a problem. Nothing at all.
Marlon Roudette – ‘When The Beat Drops Out’
Marlon Roudette has recently signed to SyCo, but that’s not his first furary into music. Regardless, ‘When The Beat Drops Out’ is a good hybrid of the vocals of Alex Clare with the soft production of Brolin. There is melancholy tinged through scatterings of electronics and steel pans. It’s no secret that we love a bit of sadness with our beats, and this certainly delivers. The actual lack of a drop, as you almost expect, is quite refreshing. Marlon is one to keep your eye on for sure.
San Cisco Music – ‘Run’
Songs like ‘Run’ should never run over 3 minutes 30, and luckily San Cisco Music got this memo. With bass reminiscent of the latest Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, ‘Run’ is a bouncy track with bags full of fun. We’re rather taken with the vocal production and ALWAYS love it when there’s some heavy breathing in a song. There’s a hint of disco in the choruses that is sort of joyful with heavy guitars and tambourines giving this more spirit than a healthy jog around Hyde Park.
Ace Wilder – ‘Riot’
Ace Wilder knows her way around a massive chorus – this is fact. Funky, distorted horns and completely ridiculous lyrics are fun and exactly what music needs. While it’s good to have a bit of doom and gloom, Wilder’s hyperbolic, almost arrogant statements are what we want from some popstars. What’s more, she sounds like she’s having a blast. Let’s start a RIOT! YES.
Leighton Meester – ‘Heartstrings’
60s throwback hasn’t sounded this good since Emma Bunton’s ‘Maybe’, and Leighton Meester knows how to deliver it. Having waited a while to fully unleash her album upon the world, Meester did so with little fanfare. And, much like her music, there is a lovely stripped back and casual nature to the song with lazy percussion and light guitars completing the aesthetic. There are also tinges of Mazzy Star’s ‘Fade Into You’, which to us is just a magical reference. Congrats Leighton Meester, you may have just sneak released one of the year’s best pop songs.
Taylor Swift – ‘Style’
Although Tay-Tay’s new album is possibly one of the best pop albums in recent memory, ‘Style’ is a stand out track. Pulsing synths and guitar riffs punctuate a rather sinister verse, until BAM , she attacks with a gloriously uplifting chorus. This is pretty much perfect pop music and that never goes out of style.
donkeyboy – ‘Hero’
This song was co-written by Stargate, donkeyboy, Kiesza and Lasse Michelsen and is rather enjoyable. Staccato synths, drum machines and big whooshes build the song to its Icona Pop-like chorus. The song’s sentiment is also really cute and uplifting. This is a little bit of sunshine now the rain has set in.
GEMS – ‘Sinking Stone’
Despite premiering last year, GEMS’ ‘Sinking Stone’ has been on repeat for us all year. We’re obsessed with the ethereal, wide and creepy production. Airy vocals add a creeping passion to the song, one that sits in the middle of your chest and aches with heartbreak. While this style of 90s-esque femme-rock is popular, GEMS seems to reach something above the rest. There are no obscure references to R&B or pop, but instead a dedication to creating a sound that’s striking, memorable and full of hurt.